L'Arpège RESTAURANT - Paris
A place of culinary alchemy.
A refined palate in need of intense emotions.
His Asian friends, to show them one of the numerous aspects of French gastronomy.
No one remains indifferent to Alain Passard. Because, he is not only a chef, he is an artist.
With his old fashioned elegance and his Dandy attitude, he has something cheeky, nostalgic and definitely modern. Just like his cuisine, I would not know where to classify the talent of this “visionary-poet-hedoniste” chef.
At only 26 year old, Alain Passard became the youngest chef awarded with two stars at le Duc d’Enghien, and he received two stars again as soon as he moved to the Carlton in Brussels. In the 2000s, when he had already received the 3 Michelin stars for his restaurant L’Arpège, he took the risk to eliminate red meat from his menu and develop a mainly vegetable and vegetable cuisine. On his three gardens with specific terroirs, he refused any insecticide and pesticide to keep the balance of a natural ecosystem.
On a beautiful summer day in a bucolic setting, I had the chance to spend a lunch in Alain Passard’s private mansion… Playful and dreamy, this chief has carried me out of time without any artifice. Simply through what I call the genius of a chef.
Hidden behind the creaking door of this antique mansion, I keep a wonderful memory watching him behind his rudimentary stoves, a simple cloth on his shoulder, singing and cooking culinary treasures that no words could relate to their fair value. Like a magician, he was perfuming the vegetables with a touch of thyme, rosemary and lovage, to give the simple asparagus the most amazing and original flavors.
After having tasted an extraordinary cucumber salad with strawberry, raspberry and cottage cheese, I was blown away by the spicy taste of a praslin with mustard leaves and flowers, and by the delicate textures and fragrances of some potatoes with Kalamata olives. Each divinely seasoned dish, made the vegetables attractive as never had been before. If I had to mention a unique taste of that meal, that would be the beans, thyme and red onions salad that showed the perfect balance of crisp and bitterness.
Finally, I remember the extraordinary spontaneity of the moment when, after noticing my admiring eyes, the chef went back to his kitchen to cook “a little chicken with honey, darling“? Since then, the chicken has never had the same taste…
Rue de Varenne, 84
+33 1 47 05 09 06